Madlib should be the spokesperson for all pro-marijuana campaigns as proof that not everyone just wastes away on a couch, eating chips by the family-sized bag, laughing at Adult Swim. Earlier this year Madlib released the Beat Konducta Vol. 1-2: Movie Scenes and in less than six months he has moved from Bollywood soundtracks to other corners of Indian music.
The Beat Konducta Vol. 3-4: In India is 30 new instrumentals just begging to be divvied out to beat tape hopefuls. It has a singular sound that begs to reveal what the next Madvillain album might sound like, or Erykah Badu’s new record, which Madlib is currently producing. I envision Ghostface's paranoid shouting flow style over “Duel,” storytelling a vivid showdown in the streets. I hear MF Doom over “Piano Garden” in his villainous growling slow flow, referencing 80s television shows we thought we had forgotten.
I never tired of Madlib’s invasion of jazz, but he seems hyper-inspired by the Indian records in his clutches. A prime example is “New Bombay,” where he throws a slow thump and hand clap beneath a repetitive chorus of “do-do’s” and space-age laser sounds, then interrupts it all with a female solo in an Indian dialect that would make a great chorus, if it weren't for the competing cuts of M.O.P. vocal samples.
If I do not hear a mind blowing collabo over “(Variations),” I would almost be inclined to call this beat tape a waste of potential (unless it came down to sample laws). The instrumental moves at an infectiously bouncy pace with dancey keys and a whirlwind string sample; it's a beat even a sub-par rapper could not screw up. I can only hope that Madlib treats his Beat Konducta tapes much like MF Doom uses his Special Herbs & Spices series – as a prelude of things to come. It would be frightening to think that these are the beats that will not make it on any future collaborations.